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Action required: Members are requested to disseminate the attached amendment to BMP 4 and supporting guidance as soon as possible. The revision will also be provided at

Members are aware of discussion at the IMO Marine Committee and the work of the UN Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) to harmonise the view of littoral states and industry regarding the Indian Ocean High Risk Area (HRA). Following an industry review of a threat assessment from military intelligence, the OCIMF Secretariat is pleased to advise the co-sponsors BMP 4 have agreed to a revised definition of the HRA.

The HRA is now defined as being bounded by:

In the Red Sea: Latitude 15°N
In the Gulf of Oman: Latitude 22°N
Eastern limit: Longitude 065°E
Southern limit: Latitude 5°S

Attached is an amended section 2 of BMP 4 and accompanying guidance on the revision’s impact and practical measures for company and shipboard planning as described in sections 6 and 7 of BMP 4.

The revisions will formally apply from 1 December 2015, in order to give shipping companies and crews’ time to adapt.

It is recommended the revisions are taken into account for voyages through the Voluntary Reporting Area (VRA) and HRA for which risk assessments are yet to be conducted. Please note these changes may have implications for charter party and insurance agreements as well as ship security arrangements. The revisions will be provided on industry websites, as well as NATO Shipping Centre ( and the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (

A revised version of BMP 4 to incorporate these changes is not anticipated. A Notice to Mariners will be issued advising of necessary changes to Admiralty Chart Q6099, and a new version of the chart will be made available before the entry into force of the revisions on 1 December.

While the revision re-designates the area considered to be at a high risk from Somalia-based pirate groups, the threat assessment recognised these groups retain the ability to attack at the historical limits of their activity. The three pillars of BMP 4 (registering at MSCHOA, reporting to UK Marine Trade Operations (UKMTO) and implementing ship protection measures on the basis of a thorough risk assessment) remain essential.

Russell Pegg

Maritime Security Adviser